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Good and Perfect

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

Have you received a perfect gift from someone? Something that resonates deeply with you, reflecting thoughtfulness, care, and understanding of the giver? What made it perfect? Maybe it was something you always wanted but wouldn't buy for yourself. Or it was a surprise, something given for no reason other than the person thinking of you. Perhaps it marked a significant life event. These gifts needn't be expensive; what matters most is the intention and sincerity behind the gift. Ultimately, the love and care that went into the thought of the making or selection of the gifts make it perfect.

In today's passage, James makes two statements about the good and perfect gifts from God. In verses 13-15, he begins by addressing the issue of temptation. He emphasizes that God does not tempt anyone with evil. God's nature is pure and holy, and evil desires cannot entice him. James says, instead, temptation arises from our inner desires. When these desires conceive, they give birth to sin, which ultimately leads to spiritual death. 

Next (v. 15-18), James encourages believers not to be deceived. Instead, they should recognize that every good and perfect gift comes from above. These gifts originate "from the Father of heavenly lights," who remains constant and unchanging. Unlike shifting shadows, God's character is unwavering–our heavenly Father does not give us bad things one day and good things the next. God only gives us good gifts! 

God's ultimate gift is spiritual rebirth through the word of truth. This regeneration makes believers a kind of first fruits–consecrated and sanctified for God's purposes–among His creation. His good and perfect gifts align us with His character and purposes. They reflect His love, wisdom, and grace and are transformative. He takes away Satan's flawed and defective gifts, the bondage to sin and temptation, and delivers us to freedom, leading us from darkness into His light. 

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for being our God and using all life's trials for our eternal benefit. Keep our hearts from complaining, and help us learn to walk in the light as Christ is in the light. May we grow in grace and learn more of You every day.

We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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